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Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll is a classic fall dessert that is easier to make than you might think. A simple pumpkin spice cake rolled up jelly-roll style and filled with cream cheese icing. A must-have dessert for Thanksgiving.

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Pumpkin Roll has always been one of my favorite desserts but I was so intimidated about the thought of baking one. The idea of rolling a cake seemed outside of my skill level. It’s actually quite simple and I am sharing the step by step photos to show you how.

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Icing on a platter with one slice

Ingredients for Pumpkin Roll:

Ingredients for Pumpkin roll with text labels

  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Vanilla Extract
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Ginger
  • Non Stick Cooking Spray
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar

Overhead view of rectangle patter with pumpkin roll - one slice off on platter, blue plaid napkin to the side

How to Make Pumpkin Roll:

Bowl with eggs, vanilla and sugar

  • Add eggs, vanilla and sugar to a mixing bowl.

Eggs, sugar and vanilla mixed in a silver bowl

  • Mix until well combined.

Pureed Pumpkin added to mixing bowl with beaten eggs and sugar

  • Add pumpkin.

Pumpkin cake mixture

  • Mix well.

Flour, cinnamon, nutmeg added to mixing bowl with pumpkin for cake roll

  • Turn the mixer off and add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Pumpkin Cake batter

  • Mix well.

Cooking sprayed parchment lined jelly roll pan

  • Line a jelly roll pan (10 x 15 inches) with parchment paper and spray with non stick cooking spray.

pumpkin cake batter in a parchment lined jelly roll pan

  • Pour cake over parchment and spread evenly. 

Pumpkin Cake baked in a jelly roll pan

  • Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.

Gray towel sprinkled with powdered sugar for making pumpkin roll cake

  • Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar.

Collage of parchment lined cake, parchment removed and rolling cake into a towel

  • Carefully remove cake from pan by placing a wire rack over the top, invert the pan – using oven mitts. Remove the pan and then flip the cake from the wire rack onto the powdered sugar lined towel. 
  • Remove the parchment paper.
  • Starting with the short end, roll the cake up in the towel, like a jelly roll. 

Towel wrapped pumpkin cake roll

  • Place the towel covered roll on a wire rack to cool, about an hour. 

Cream cheese, butter & powdered sugar in a bowl for icing

  • Prepare the cream cheese icing by adding softened cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl.

cream cheese icing in a bowl with spatula

  • Beat until well combined and fluffy.

unrolled cake for pumpkin cake roll - ready for icing

  • Carefully unroll the cake.

pumpkin cake spread with cream cheese icing

  • Spread cream cheese icing evenly over cake.

Rolling cream cheese filled pumpkin cake

  • Roll cake up once more (without the towel).

Pumpkin cake roll on a powdered sugar towel

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

overhead view of pumpkin roll wrapped in plastic wrap

  • Refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to serve.

pumpkin roll on a platter with one slice

  • Remove plastic wrap, slice and serve.

How to Store & Freeze:

Store pumpkin roll wrapped in plastic wrap in refrigerator for up to 4 days. It will stay fresher if you slice as needed rather than slicing the entire roll at once.

To freeze pumpkin roll, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and one layer of foil. Freeze up to 6 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator before slicing and serving.

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What is a Jelly Roll Pan?

A jelly roll pan  is 10″ X 15″ X 1″, slightly smaller than a standard half sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet. It’s the perfect size for making sheet cakes and cake rolls. Here is the jelly roll pan I have, purchased from Amazon.

What Kind of Towel to Use?

I use a tea towel or flour sack towel. Don’t use a terry- type towel, or the fibers will stick to the cake. 

Do You Have to Use Parchment Paper?

I highly recommend using parchment paper, find it at the store near the foil and plastic wrap or order from Amazon. It will help you get the cake out of the pan without sticking or cracking.

How to Keep the Cake From Cracking:

Rolling the cake while it’s still hot from the oven is the best way to keep the cake from cracking. Be sure to use oven mitts and invert onto a wire rack and then onto the powdered sugar lined towel.

pumpkin roll with one slice close up

More Pumpkin Desserts for Fall

Close up of pumpkin cream cheese cake roll

Fall is my favorite time to bake and a classic pumpkin roll is a great dessert to bake and share. Once you try it, you will see just how simple it is to make one of the best pumpkin desserts you’ve ever tasted. 

Add a pumpkin cake roll to your Thanksgiving dinner menu this year and make an extra to share with your friends and family! 

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Yield: 8 servings

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll with one slice off on a platter

Pumpkin Roll is a classic fall dessert that is easier to make than you might think. A simple pumpkin spice cake rolled up jelly-roll style and filled with cream cheese icing. A must-have dessert for Thanksgiving.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar for rolling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a mixer bowl, add eggs, vanilla and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Turn the mixer off and add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix well.
  4. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with non stick cooking spray.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven.
  8. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of powdered sugar over a clean tea towel and invert cake onto tea towel.
  9. Remove parchment paper and starting with the short end, roll the cake up in the towel, tightly.
  10. Place towel wrapped cake on a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  11. Make the icing by adding softened cream, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  12. When cake is cooled unroll the towel and spread cream cheese icing over cake in an even layer. Roll cake (not the towel) back up.
  13. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before slicing.

Notes

Store pumpkin roll wrapped in plastic wrap in refrigerator up to 4 days.

To freeze, wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Freeze up to 6 weeks, thaw in refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 404mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 44gProtein: 6g

Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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